The problem of consciousness Academic Article uri icon


  • Send response to journal: Re: The problem of consciousness EDITOR---The editorial in this week's BMJ (1) is asking how much our moral values influence clinical decisions. Seen from a holistic perspective, the human being is much more than his body. Mind has psychic dimensions difficult to measure and turn into science, especially the soul, the spiritual level of man, that is normally acknowledged to be a wordless domain of our existence. Unfortunately, consciousness is a soul-thing. The place within our self, where we take the final judgment of our life values and major decisions in life, is hidden, unpredictable, and un-material (2). Consciousness is the source of our being and the way we deal with our own consciousness often become our destiny, also concerned with our physical and mental health. The Danish existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (3) recommended to always make the most arduous and difficult choice, when confronted with a choice of something easy or something challenging. The physician (usually the family physician) will often be the person discussing these life-forming decisions with the patient. Unfortunately, the modern physician is so absorbed in his own profession that it can be very difficult to understand how it is to be a truck driver, a cleaner, or a shopkeeper. Often the physician is not really taking the hardest of alternatives himself in his own personal life.

publication date

  • February 3, 2006